This article addresses the literary response to network forms in twenty-first-century print poetry. Through the case of Anne Carson's long poem The Beauty of the Husband (2001), it explores how contemporary poetry, whose textuality will be termed prosthetic, can engender a network aesthetic that evokes infinite connections among ideas that are analogically related. Firstly, taking its cue from recent developments in literary history and relational aesthetics, the article investigates how Carson's poem participates in a network aesthetic typical of the digital age. To this end, it situates this aesthetic in the context of an emergent metamodernism by relating the notion of connection, central to network aesthetics, to an ethos of affect and sincerity characteristic of metamodernism. The literary analysis, which focuses on five key hubs, then demonstrates how the poem never arrives at representation and yet evokes a disintegrating marriage by analogically relating it to other ideas and texts. The article concludes that Carson's poem operates by means of a poetics of delay by reconciling lyrical with conceptual impulses. Ultimately, the aim of this article is to flesh out a fuller picture of Carson's notoriously uncategorizable poetry against the background of a network aesthetic.

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